How to Dictate and Voice Edit Your Google Documents

If you have ever wanted to have someone at your beck and call so they could write down everything you want, then it looks like you’re going to be spending a lot of time in Google Docs (If you haven’t already). Why? Google Docs allows you to use a variety of formatting and editing commands that are going to make your dictating tasks a lot easier.

The voice typing functionality isn’t that new since many have been enjoying it since September of last year, but now users can edit and format by using just their voice. To use Voice Typing, go to the Tools menu and select “Voice typing.” You can also press “Ctrl + Shift + S” for PC and “Cmd + Shift + S” for Mac.


You can make Google Docs do all sorts of things such as add text styles like italics and bold, jump to a new paragraph, edit tables, delete last work, backspace, new paragraph, and insert equations. At the Docs Support page, you can get the full list of commands that you can apply while voice typing. You can also say, “Voice commands help” if you want to access Google’s Help Center right from Google Docs.

There is a downside to all of this, and it’s that it’s only going to work with the desktop version of Chrome. You will also need to be careful when you’re formatting. For example, if you want certain text in bold, you need to say “Bold” before the text. You can also add color to your text. Google Docs recognizes cyan, orange, red, green, yellow, purple, blue and magenta.

There are also commands that you will need to say after and not before, like in the bold example. Let’s say that you want to apply “Heading 1;” you will need to say this after you have said that text. By saying “go to” or “move to,” you can easily move the mouse cursor to those positions without even touching your mouse. You will also be happy to know that voice typing also supports English with accents such as an Indian accent, and you can speak Spanish with its different accents as well.


The only downside is that voice commands to format and edit are only currently available in English. Chances are that Google will be adding more languages soon. They kind of have to, don’t you think?

Some may prefer to continue using their keyboards and mice because it may be more comfortable or faster for them, while others aren’t fast at typing and don’t want to spend an hour typing when Google can do it for them in less time. Being able to edit and format on Google Docs will also be very helpful for those who have an injury preventing them from typing.

There’s no doubt that our editing needs are going to be met without having to touch our computer’s mouse and hopefully it’s only going to get better with time. Have you tried voice editing in Google Docs? Let us know in the comments.

Image credit: Studio Microphone

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